Skip to comments.Soft power meets hard fact - The failings of a soft power approach to Russia
Posted on 04/06/2014 5:25:31 PM PDT by neverdem
In February, noting events in Ukraine, we wrote in this space that history seemed to be stirring once again (if it had ever really slept). In Ukraine, at least, the observation “It’s about Russia” is not only accurate but thorough. When The New Criterion began publication, in September 1982, the Soviet colossus still cast its dismal, blighting shadow over Eastern Europe and the countries girdling the Black and Caspian Seas. The sudden disintegration of what Ronald Reagan aptly called “the evil empire” caught most pundits, and most Western politicians, entirely off guard. That eventuality was not part of the script they had been given. And yet it happened. And then a new script was substituted. Now, the power politics of yesteryear were outmoded. A new era of mutual interest, diplomacy, and “soft power” was the order of the day. What Secretary of State John Kerry derided as Russia’s “nineteenth-century” behavior in Ukraine—imagine, one country invading another and annexing part of it!—was so uncouth, so outmoded, so beyond what was supposed to happen in the early twenty-first century, that his first response was contemptuous incredulity. Perhaps partly because he lived in the nineteenth century, the essayist William Hazlitt would not have been surprised by Russia’s behavior. “Those who lack delicacy,” he observed, “hold us in their power.” So far, the West’s attitude towards Russia’s criminal adventures in Ukraine might be best described as impotent outrage. Russia’s attitude, on the contrary, has been one of swaggering belligerence, tinctured with minatory, narrowed-eyed amusement. The commentator Austin Bay, writing for StrategyPage.com, got it exactly right: the “referendum” handing over the Crimean peninsula to Russia was
a cover story concocted ex post facto. Russian rifles cast the votes that mattered. When he announced the annexation, Russian president Vladimir Putin touted Crimea’s three centuries of Russian control. Whatever the cover story or sphere of influence explanation, this is territorial expansion.
The legacy of aggression, annexation and expansion by a major European power is mass slaughter across the Continent and, in the twentieth century, global war.
No one knows, at this juncture, how events in Ukraine will play out. But partisans of “soft power” are in for yet another jolt. It turns out that, pace Secretary Kerry, the nineteenth century is alive and well. The Roman historian Vegetius was right: Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war.
...and if we can get the Russians to agree to only use solar or wind power to supply the needs of their armed forces, then we might win in the long run through “green power”.
Has it ever worked?
The velvet glove is worthless unless it covers an iron fist.
US Govt Russophobia:
The false flag sniper op at Maidan:
Arrest warrant for George Soros:
200 New Christian churches being built in an daround Moscow:
The Cathedral of Christ The Savior:
calls for world leaders to stop the slaughter/persecution of Christians :
The United States is still demographically a Christian nation but you'd never know it from observing our government. All you ever read about our government doing these days is supporting regimes which persecute Christians and Christianity, and then you ask whose side you think God might be on? You think God could ever be on the side of George Soros, Monsanto, and the Obunga state department?? For that matter do you think God would be on the side of "conservatives" who weren't bright enough to see through demoKKKrat/NWO/Soros/US_StateDept propaganda and BS??
A lot of people think God is on their side. That’s foolishness.
We should try to be on Gods side.
Sorry, but I don’t see that as foolishness at all, i.e. I’m willing to believe my own eyes. That is in fact what the evidence suggests.
You have evidence that God has chosen Putin’s side?
I want to hear this.
I’m assuming that to be the case from what I see and read. For instance, God being on their side might have something to do with their not having a “community organizer(TM)” in charge of the Kremlin...
The article headline isn’t supported by the contents of the article. “In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on Gods side. The West is Gomorrah.”
It’s my belief that even Putin isn’t so conceited, and foolish, as to say that God chose to be on his side.
Who would want to live so defiantly and dangerously?
I don’t believe that God is on America’s side (not any more), nor that God is on Russia’s side, and those are not the important questions. What matters is whether we are on God’s side. At the moment, I’m not happy with the side our country has chosen in the battle between good and evil.
“soft power?” oh, you mean weakness.
That is in fact what the evidence suggests.
It is early days and time will tell. I do think the west is a rotted, putrid husk that will be judged hard in the near future. How much better the east is... we shall see.
Putin does not strike me as a God fearing man. He is, however, a sane and canny one in a world let by debauched and magical thinking fools.
Its all Psalm 2 in the end. Watch how the nations respond.
In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on Gods side. The West is Gomorrah.
That quote is not in the article! The title and the last paragraph certainly agree. Soft power has serious limitations.
God is NOT with Putin and Putin does not believe in God.
Putin believes in Putin and the great USSR revived - that is all. Russia and her leaders rev up their tank engines while the West sips Latte in fashionable cafes.
Putin creates facts, takes initiative and places boots on the ground while the West makes threats never to be carried out.
Putin knows he is dealing with America's worst Jello-President which makes it all the more easy to dupe the West.
After all, it is a West that neither seeks conflict not argument but a smooth, seamless affluent lifestyle. It is a “leave us alone, we're busy sipping Latte” strategy. Do what you want in the East just don't halt the flow of natural gas or oil...
“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”
NOBODY goes to that much trouble to fake not being godless...
“Having a form of religion but denying the power thereof.”
The new set of Orthodox in Russia are still fairly young. They would not have been practicing their faith publicly during the USSR era. I fear it’s been taken as more of a cool religion than a means of getting one’s heart right with the Lord.
Utterly godless no (any more than the US is utterly godless). But in big spiritual trouble, yes.
If they are going to church because it's "cool", good at least they are going. Because if they keep going the message of Jesus Christ will start to "stick."
It is about the tenth paragraph, which consists of one sentence.